As I began working on Hibiscus, I advised my co-editors, Anu Majumdar and Dustin Pickering, to send me a few verses on the chosen theme. To maintain ethical standards, I didn’t publish them, nor did I include mine in this collection. But I liked their works and discussed them in the introductory passage. In the last few days, I’ve critiqued briefly four poems. I won’t write a critical analysis as I conclude the session. I’ll let you peruse their poetry instead.

Happy reading! — Kiriti Sengupta

Falling Away | Anu Majumdar

when shadows fall from your face
hummingbirds sing outside.

when doubt falls away from your mind
beavers sleep together in deep moonlight.

when darkness leaves your eyes at last
deer walk the streets in quiet trot.

when hate dies, exhausted in your blood
gods walk together, like comrades in the park.

and when fear finally slips away from your heart
your breath is a new river, carrying the sun.

Silence | Dustin Pickering

Silence is the dove between us,
a heart or forbidden sanctity.
Laughter folds in the hills
like tension working the body.

What is the Spirit when life thinks
on itself and those encased within?

Silence is spiritual slumber;
it is naught but an eye.
The wind captures your bliss
and disperses it among trees.

You are my season, my friend,
and my fear. The one I love.

Note: “Falling Away” first appeared in The Punch Magazine; it is reproduced here with some revisions by the poet. “Silence” first appeared on the Setu Magazine.